I also love my cast iron that was handed down to me. The best thing you can do to your cast iron is to season it before you use it. Put a small amount of good quality olive oil on the pan and put the pan in the oven at a low temp. about 100 till it is on good and starting to look shiney.
I am a fan of cast iron, too. Last forever, and it gives the food such a lovely crispyness. Yes, it is heavy, but it doesn't leave rings on your counter if you dry it first! I have an amazing cast iron wok that is so light, and sounds like a bell when you stir the food: magic.
I love my cast iron pans. I also got mine from my grandmother. I miss her and all the delicious meals she made in those pans. It's a shame that I never appreciated them when I was younger, but now I cherish the memories. Thanks for the blog.
This was informative for items used on the range top.
I don't see STONEWARE anywhere on this list. That's all I use in my oven for baking cookies and cakes, roasting turkey, and heating frozen pizza or home-made fries. There's nothing that can compare to the outcome when I make it on a stone!
I'm 45 yy, and I love my cast iron but only if I can buy the pieces from a thrift store, an estate sale, and a few select pieces from ebay because it's already 'well-seasoned', and the items that I've seen in stores just don't seem the same! Growing up, I would watch my foster mom use hers for frying chicken, early-morning ham with red-eye gravy, and/or cornbread. Right now, I have one big cast iron skillet that has seem some abuse (left it with family who let it soak after scorching spaghetti sauce in it and brought it to me with some of the sauce still stuck to it..ugh), but I'm working on it! (I'm also working on building my cast iron collection up again..I've got low-iron anemia so of course, any- and every-where I can get a boost of iron is more than okey-dokey with me!)
My every day cookware pantry consists of a bit of everything: Calphalon, CLUB (courtesy of ebay! I love those but only the ones with the rings on the bottom..don't really care for the smooth bottoms as much), other no-name aluminum/stainless steel, and of course, a Dollar General Store special which honestly..that term "you get what you pay for" -- it could've been coined specifically for this set. $12 for 7 pcs: a skillet, a small saucepan, a medium saucepan, a 'Dutch oven' (and I literally roll my eyes when I say it -- or type it) and three lids...Having recently moved into a new place, I needed a set of cookware, like, immediately and, budget-conscious woman that I am, I didn't want to spend a whole lot of money and figured this little set would serve me fine until I had saved up some funds for a set from Wal*Mart..BIG mistake..I mean..HUGE!! The first time I used it, I made some chicken'n'dumplings in the D.O., and upon washing it, I noticed the coating was already cracked & peeling! The first time I used the little skillet for turkey bacon'n'eggs, I noticed the saaaame exact thing! Needless to say, I splurged a bit and bought a $40 Calphalon skillet from Macy's (had a gift card, otherwise, I probably wouldn't have!) I love that Calphalon..it's sturdy, and it actually holds up to its nonstick coating claim, thus, it's easy to clean as well!
I recently saw where Sam's Club (in NC somewhere; I don't recall where) was going to have a Titanware cookware set demonstration next month, I think. I haven't seen it anywhere though.
I have my mother's cast aluminum pot, and my grandmother's cast iron skillets and dutch oven. I've had to re-season a couple of them, but NOTHING sticks, and I am glad to know a little iron leaches out into my food for a nice little added benefit.
I just bought a set of GreenPan's non-stick ceramic coated stainless pots and pans. Safe to nearly 1000 degrees, produces no fumes, contains no PTFE's or PFOA's (the toxic substances in non-stick surfaces). THEY ARE WONDERFUL TO COOK IN!! Check them out at www.green-pan.com
8/14/2009 11:10:36 AM
I also have my Grandma's iron skillet's Love them!
I use the Anodized aluminum mostly. Not specifically a con, but do be aware that the glass lids that often come with this type can shatter during use. If the metal band around the bottom has a bend or a defect, other than the joint, don't use the lid. I had a lid that sported a slight warp in the band, which caused uneven heating, building stress on the glass over time. Eventually, the glass "popped" I had beads of glass in the food, all over the stove, counter, and floor.
NOTE: When I said "shatter" I am NOT meaning an explosion. The lid shattered as a windshield of a car might. Most of the damaged glass stayed in one piece; however, a spray of glass beads came from around the handle at the top of the lid.
7/25/2009 9:31:41 AM
One "con" about cast iron: IT IS VERY HEAVY!!!!!!!! When I make the occasional special dish in my frying pan, I have to have my husband lift and hold it so I can serve out the food! Or when needing to scrape out the cooked food into another pot to combine!! Also, without special handling, it leaves rust stains in the sink and on counters, not to mention it has to be seasoned after each use so it won't rust inside. I hate it.
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